Sandakan Death March 2004 Route

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Sandakan - Ranau DEATHMARCH  (August 16 - 25, 2005)

Tocomemorate the 60th Anniversary of the end of World War II, the Sabah Society will retrace the POWs footsteps on the notorious 260km long death marches in remembrance of the soldiers who lost their lives and to pay tribute to the many locals who risked their lives to help them. although the landscape has changed over the years, the rivers, villages, hills and valleys remain the same silent witnesses of the prisoners.

The route is divided into three sections covering a variety of terrain from swampy marshlands, rivers, and rainforest. The last section runs parallel with the present highway before veering off to the south climbing steeply uphill before descending to enter Ranau at the site of the Ranau Memorial, where 22 year old Gunner Albert Neil cleary were brutally tortured until close to death before his mates were allowed to attend to him.

The commemorative March also invokes the sacrifices of the people of Sabah who came to the aid of the POWs during their internment in Sandakan and the death marches. Admirable efforts were made by the local constabulary and citizens to alleviate their suffering and provide whatever comfort they could. Koram bin Anduat, Mohd Tahir Matusin, the Funk brothers - Johnny, alexander and Paddy, Jemadar Ujagar Singh and Lamberto M. Apostol were but a few of these local heroes.

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Standing from left: Nelson Short, Keith Botterill and Bill Moxham who escaped and survived the death march. Seated from left: Kainggal, Bariga, Sumping and Guak who rescued and took care of the above escapees at Ranau.

Retracing the Death March in 1957. Haji Kangawan Kulang, Mr. Douglas (District Officer Beluran), Sugut Native Chief, Mr. John Tham.

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